# Editor for writing papers

1. Jan 26, 2012

### Curl

Is there a good free/cheap editor for easily/rapidly writing equations? I need to write 3+ papers in the next 2 months and they all have a lot of matrices and equations with indices and all those things that take forever to enter in using MS Word.

I hate spending hours on entering that stuff in, it is ridiculous.

2. Jan 26, 2012

Staff Emeritus
LaTex.

3. Jan 26, 2012

### lisab

Staff Emeritus
4. Jan 26, 2012

### Ben Niehoff

Download and install TexLive. It is free, and comes on all platforms. It comes with a free editor called TexWorks, which shows your LaTeX source and the compiled PDF side-by-side.

TexLive is huge and will take an hour or two to install. Also, TexWorks has no spellcheck, so hopefully you haven't gotten used to relying on that.

5. Jan 26, 2012

### Pengwuino

A spell checker can be installed, though. :)

6. Jan 26, 2012

### Curl

I don't want some DOS command line driven, linux kernel based program. I'm not in computer science I don't know how do deal with all that, and the point is to save time here not waste it trying to figure this out. Something like the one lisab mentioned is what I'm looking for, there's got to be something like that you can download, and also one without the mouse-over menus (i want it laid out, I have plenty of screen resolution)

7. Jan 26, 2012

### Ben Niehoff

TexLive installs with the click of a button, and the editor TexWorks is a GUI with menus and all that. To compile your LaTeX, you click a big green button.

I should say, TexLive installs by clicking a button and then waiting 1-2 hours. But it's fully automated; no need to do anything in the command line.

Are you saying that you WANT something with little buttons you can click to enter your formulas, by putting in summation signs, raising powers, etc.? That seems like an odd request coming from someone who is frustrated with MS Word's equation editor. Entering equations by clicking little buttons is excruciatingly slow compared to just typing out the LaTeX code directly.

Trust me on this one. Take 2 hours of your time to install TexLive; then you'll be able to type equations fast enough to take notes during class, if you so desire.

Edited to add: If you're on Windows, you can also consider MikTex. I haven't used it, but some of my friends like it.

8. Jan 27, 2012

### jhae2.718

If you want to use LaTeX in a graphical environment, try LyX.

Personally, I use TeXLive on Linux for everything. For what you described needing to write, learn and use LaTeX. It's wonderful.

9. Jan 29, 2012

### Curl

I think I'm not understanding something. How is typing this:

Code (Text):
\begin{bmatrix}
&  & \\
&  & \\
&  &
\end{bmatrix}
a fast way of putting 2 brackets around some numbers? Plus I'll have to memorize/look up all of these commands and syntax which takes time to get used to. Is there some kind of newbie-friendly introduction to this to get started?

Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
10. Jan 29, 2012

Nobody said it was. If you have been using LaTeX for a while and know the commands, then they are faster than point and click. If not, then stick with MS Word Equation editor. Pick one and get to it.

11. Jan 29, 2012

### Pythagorean

"LatexIt" is a fast code to image program.

12. Jan 29, 2012

### Pengwuino

There are a FEW things that things like MathType and MS Equation Editor can do faster, but a vast majority of things are extremely hard in in MSEE.

For example, I timed myself writing the following out of one of my texts:

$\chi = \left({{|e|\hbar}\over{2m_e cB}}\right) tanh ({{\beta\hbar\omega}\over{2}})$

35 seconds in Latex. 70 seconds in MS word. I'm pretty good at TeX, but I also am very good at using MS's equation function because I am forced to do presentations in PowerPoint. LaTeX does not need to be command-line driven or any of that nonsense. TeXworks for PC with MikTex installs just like any other program and the code just to write papers is absolutely minimal. The number of commands you'll need will be ridiculously minimal and when you learn it, you know it forever. The complexity of TeX is involved in making large articles or books or other things with a lot of formatting and "prettiness" that needs to be taken into consideration.

13. Jan 29, 2012

### jhae2.718

Can't you use LaTeX-beamer? It's so much better than PowerPoint.

14. Jan 29, 2012

### Pythagorean

user prezi for presentations... latexit for eqautions in prezi

prezi.com

infinite zoom, super innovative.

15. Jan 29, 2012

### Pengwuino

Both of you shut up. I'm trying to prove a point here.

16. Jan 29, 2012

### Pythagorean

points are sharpened with lots of hard work, not proven with an internet post!

17. Jan 29, 2012

### Char. Limit

Wrong on both counts. Points are graphed in n-space.

18. Jan 29, 2012

### Pythagorean

19. Jan 29, 2012

### Ben Niehoff

$$\begin{bmatrix} 1 & 3 & 5 \\ 8 & 13 & 21 \end{bmatrix}$$

That took like 15 seconds typing. I don't even know where the clicky buttons are to do it the other way.

20. Jan 30, 2012

### Curl

Ok can I use TeX in MS word? I realize entering equations in TeX is quick but now I'm getting turned off by the formatting conventions in LaTeX.
One of the papers has to look pretty, and it seems like a pain to put in images etc.